When last we left out heroes, Ryouma had just been called away to a meeting with his agency’s president, and when Izumi gave him a goodbye smooch in what he thought was a private hallway, he realized his friend Kuroi had spotted them… Dun dun DUUUUUN!
Kuroi is, naturally, more than a LITTLE shocked at the realization his friend is not only gay, he’s gay with one of the most famous celebrities out there. He tries to play it cool, making a smooth getaway, but Izumi is having none of it and drags him off into an unused room to discuss the revelation. Kuroi explains that he won’t tell anyone, Izumi doesn’t have to worry, but Izumi stops him, because now that it’s out, there’s no helping it…
Izumi: “Yup, Ryouma and I are indeed dating!!”
It quickly becomes clear to Kuroi, here, that Izumi has not cornered him to force his silence but instead to just BLATHER ON AND ON about how amazing his boyfriend is and how ~in love~ they are, and he practically begs Kuroi to ask him anything and everything he could possibly want to know about their relationship (not exactly keen on keeping a low profile, is he?). After a moment’s hesitation, Kuroi takes him up on his offer.
Kuroi: “Fine, I’ll ask… Did you not hesitate at all to get involved with another guy?”
Izumi considers for a moment before confessing that while he was less than enamored with the idea initially, once he fell for Ryouma, he really stopped caring about the details. Kuroi then decides to probe a little deeper.
Kuroi: “Then, umm…did you hesitate when it came to THAT? You know, kissing another guy and…doing other stuff…”
Izumi: “NOPE! Once I fell for him I wanted to screw all the time!”
That cleared up, Kuroi asks if sex between guys hurts, and Izumi explains that it depends on the partner–Ryouma was inexperienced initially and it hurt like hell, but once he studied up on proper techniques, now it feels amazing. Kuroi can understand that, but he has a hard time imagining that there isn’t some loss of pride as a man, being taken by another man, and asks if Izumi feels the same way. This, Izumi definitely has experience on!
Izumi: “If you don’t want his getting stuck into you, then just stick yours in him!”
…is what Rei told him, he finishes. Kuroi realizes here that between two guys, it really doesn’t matter in the end. Izumi agrees and reminds that he’s ready to top Ryouma, any time any place! He realizes here, though, that Kuroi’s questions suggest that Kuroi actually might be struggling with something, but Kuroi waves off his concern, explaining that it was just something that happened a long time ago, when a guy came on to him. When Izumi asks what Kuroi thought of the other man, Kuroi confesses he doesn’t really know. How do you know if the ‘like’ you feel for someone is just friendship or as a companion, or real romantic love?
Izumi: “BECAUSE LOVE IS WHEN YOUR HEART GOES ALL ‘BADUMP’!!”
Kuroi: “That’s a really simple way of putting it…”
Their conversation is interrupted when another assistant comes looking for them, asking them to return to the workroom. As he takes his seat, Kuroi mulls over what Izumi said.
…then glances over at what we can presume was the person of interest…
Saotome: (Ooh! He looked at me!! Did my feelings get through??)
Kuroi: (There was no ‘badump’ whatsoever…)
Saotome: (HE GLANCED AWAY!!)
Elsewhere…Ryouma is getting chewed out by his agency’s president, furious that Ryouma is working a side job as a mangaka’s assistant. He demands an explanation for this activity, since it’s not as if Ryouma wants to become a mangaka, and Ryouma boldly explains that it’s because he wants to spend more time with Izumi.
Ryuuzaki: “Izumi is…that kid from SenaPro?”
Ryuuzaki: “And…wait, don’t tell me, you LIKE him?”
Ryuuzaki: “Are you two…dating…??”
Ryouma: “YES! SINCE LAST AUGUST!”
Ryouma loves Izumi, regardless of gender, deep and serious, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with Izumi. Ryuuzaki realizes with a beleaguered sigh that this explains all of Ryouma’s actions lately, including his insistence he star in the drama with Izumi. Ryouma states that he absolutely will not break up with Izumi, even if the president demands that he do so, and Ryuuzaki turns on him: he has no intention of opposing their relationship. The entertainment business is filled with all sorts, and he’s not that stuck up.
However, the public are a different matter entirely, and show business is a venture of popularity. If their relationship got found out, Ryouma might start losing job offers–they both might, even.
Ryuuzaki: “It’s all well and good that you want to marry him and be together forever, but stop and consider what you’re committing to. If you had to choose between Izumi and your career…what would you do?”
What, indeed? Ryouma stops to consider this–but a sound from outside in the hall calls Hidaka’s attention, and he rushes to the door to see if anyone was eavesdropping. The hallway is empty, though, and Ryuuzaki wraps up the conversation. If Ryouma wants to do managaka assistant work, he’s to do that sort of thing in his free time, not put off legitimate jobs to indulge.
Ryouma takes his leave, dejected and thoughtful, and completely misses the figure lurking around a corner.
He arrives home, but Izumi isn’t back yet, and exhausted from the day, he slips into bed and falls asleep, still torn: he’s never considered it seriously before, but what would he do, if forced to choose between the love of his life and the career he’s worked so hard for…?
Izumi returns late that evening, but the apartment is quiet, and as he pokes around, he soon finds Ryouma asleep in their bedroom and still in his clothes. And isn’t he a sight to feast upon…
Izumi can hardly contain himself, and he recalls Kuroi’s comments earlier: that for a relationship between two guys, top and bottom really shouldn’t matter. Overcome with lust, he decides to take a chance.
Ryouma wakes to find Izumi stripping him and scrambles back, mortified and shocked, but Izumi presses for permission.
Izumi: “Ryouma…I really want to do you…”
He loves Ryouma, after all, and this is something that’s just natural for a guy to want to do.
Izumi: “So, let me!”